CANADA – The trend in housing starts stayed steady going into the start of the new year, with 224,865 units in January 2018, compared to 226,346 units in December 2017, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.
“The national trend in housing starts held steady for a third consecutive month in January, remaining near the 10-year high set in December,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “This reflects higher starts of multi-unit dwellings in urban centres in recent months, which has offset lower starts of single-detached homes.”
Vancouver: starts for all home types in the Vancouver Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) trended up in January, reaching a pace nearly double that of the same month last year. There were 2,599 housing starts across the region in January of 2018, as opposed to 1,334 in January of 2017. The North Shore was a particular hotspot for activity as a number of condominium and rental multi-family units got underway.
Kelowna: Housing starts in the Kelowna CMA saw an increase in January 2018, totaling 87 units, compared with 51 units in the same month last year. The increase was supported by new rental units getting underway, continuing with the trend seen throughout 2017. New housing construction, particularly for multi-unit dwellings, continues to be supported by strong population growth and a robust labour market.
Edmonton: Housing starts in the Edmonton CMA have been trending lower since peaking in July of last year. On a month-over-month seasonally-adjusted basis, single-family starts were up 2 per cent in January compared to December while multi-family starts were up 38 per cent. Much of the increase in multi-family construction was due to an increase in the apartment segment where inventory levels remain elevated.
The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 216,210 units in January, essentially unchanged from 216,275 units in December. The SAAR of urban starts increased slightly by 0.2 per cent in January to 198,400 units. Multiple urban starts essentially held steady at 134,685 units in January while single-detached urban starts increased by 0.6 per cent to 63,715 units.
Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17,810 units.